Released: 2014

Features: ScHoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar

“Collard Greens” is a vivacious and uninhibited exploration of excess, success, and authenticity in the uncompromising realms of hip hop and life. This ScHoolboy Q track serves up a titillating blend of flamboyant bravado, bold linguistics, and gritty commentary, flavored with the zest of Q’s West Coast roots. It’s a rhythmic jaunt through a world of luxury, vices, and raw reflections. So let’s break it down, bar for bar, hook to chorus.

The track opens with the recurring refrain, “Oh, oh, luxury / Chidi-ching-ching could buy anything, cop that / Oh, oh, collard greens.” This trio of lines highlights the dichotomy Q lives in – ‘luxury’ and ‘chidi-ching-ching’ represent the materialistic side of success, while ‘collard greens’, a staple in soul food cuisine, symbolizes Q’s humble beginnings and roots in the ‘hood. He’s saying he’s moved up, but hasn’t forgotten where he came from.

The line “Three degrees low, make it hot for me, drop that” further elucidates this duality. It’s not just about the temperature; it’s emblematic of the societal temperature. It’s the struggle of maintaining one’s authenticity (‘three degrees low’) amidst the lure of fame and wealth (‘make it hot for me’).

Oxymoron (Deluxe)

ScHoolboy Q then delves directly into a depiction of his life of hedonism – filled with partying (“drink this, smoke this”), women (“Watch this, no tick, yeah, I’m the nigga / Freak the freckles off your face”), and spending extravagantly (“Oh, oh, luxury / Chidi-ching-ching could buy anything, cop that”). He confidently expresses that he’s in control, he’s the orchestrator of this wild ride, he’s the boss.

Another layer comes in with Kendrick Lamar’s verse, rapped partially in Spanish. The translation paints a wild, sensual scene which underscores the theme of unapologetic indulgence. His lyrics “nights like this, I’m a knight like this / Sword in my hand, I fight like this” convey a warrior-like spirit, ready to combat, thrive and savor the spoils of victory.

The last verse by Q is a tribute to his journey and growth. He acknowledges his fame (“Bummy nigga famous, straight from the bottom”) and success (“What these niggas make a year, I spend that on my daughter shoes”) while still highlighting his deep roots (“Guns in the basement, out they have a problem”). He’s telling the world he’s made it, but he’s still ‘hood, he’s still the real deal.

“Collard Greens” isn’t just a track; it’s a multi-faceted commentary on ScHoolboy Q’s reality. It’s about the unstoppable rise from bottom to top, about staying true while navigating luxury, and about indulging in success without losing the core essence. So when Q says “Oh, oh, down with the shit / Cop this, pop this, down with the shit” he’s just extending an invite for us to ride along, and get down with a life that’s both familiar and spectacularly glamorous.